Juvenile courts hear cases where the defendant is 18 years of age or younger and has been charged with a felony, misdemeanor, or traffic offenses.

At Hayes Law, we understand the concerns that parents face when they learn their child has been arrested or is under investigation. Aside from immediate concerns of protecting the child’s safety and privacy, parents can worry that their child’s future could be impacted by a troubling legal record. Our attorneys help juvenile clients and their parents with defense strategies that protect the child’s rights during any investigation and court proceedings, and minimize the problems an arrest can have on a child’s future.

We are compassionate and sensitive to the struggles our young clients may face with regard to addiction. We have a large network of resources we can utilize to not only achieve the best outcome on the case but also address underlying health concerns.

Minors have many of the same rights as adults, however there are differences between juvenile and adult courts.

  • Juvenile court proceedings focus on rehabilitation, whereas adult criminal courts focus on punishment.
  • Juveniles are charged with violations equivalent to adult crimes. A delinquent child is any minor found to have committed an act that would be considered a crime if committed by an adult.
  • Juveniles “admit” or “deny” charges against them, whereas adults plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Minors are “adjudicated” by courts and issued a sentence in the form of a “disposition” rather than being tried and found guilty or not guilty as an adult would experience. Juveniles do not have a right to trial by jury.

Ohio courts have implemented diversion programs that provide minors with the support they need, and better opportunities for a successful outcome in their case (i.e. dismissal).

A minor may be charged as an adult. This normally occurs where the juvenile accused of an offense is close to the age of 18, has been previously “adjudicated” by a juvenile court, or the alleged offense is serious in nature.

Contact Hayes Law today to discuss your child’s case and how we may assist you and your family through this difficult period.